As owner and operator of Pump It Up! Fitness, Cheryl Tabone has always been the consummate professional.
Now, as a card-carrying member of the Natural Muscle Association, Tabone is officially a professional - a professional figure competitor, that is.
"It's really just something I do for myself," the Fredonia resident said. "It's always been my personal goal. When I turned 40, I wanted to compete in a figure competition and get my pro card."
Cheryl?Tabone, a?Fredonia resident and owner and operator of Pump It Up! Fitness, recently became a professional figure competitor after taking numerous first-place finishes at the NMA CanAm Figure competition, at the Flickinger Performing Arts Center, in Buffalo.
In a figure competition, competitors are judged on muscular symmetry and tone. It's not exactly bodybuilding, as muscle size is somewhat downplayed.
Tabone earned her pro card and added numerous first-place finishes at the NMA CanAm Figure competition, held March 24, at the Flickinger Performing Arts Center, in Buffalo.
The divisions which Tabone took first place in were Figure over 35 (years old), Figure Novice, Figure Open Short and Figure Open Overall. The Overall Division took the winners from each size division - short, medium, tall - and pitted them against each other.
Training for these competitions can be rigorous and stressful - on both body and mind - but surprisingly, Tabone didn't train all that long to earn her pro card.
"Eight weeks," she laughed. "I really only trained for eight weeks. I've always been fit. I did
boot camp training, boxing and turbo-kick (for) about four hours a day for the competition."
As a professional, Tabone will now be invited to national tournaments and is eligible for sponsorships. Some professional figure competitors have agents to seek sponsorship partners, but Tabone plans on doing that herself.
See TABONE, Page?B2
The fact that Tabone's work is also her passion greatly aids in her quest for fitness. At Pump it Up!, Tabone is constantly active teaching zumba, kick-boxing, gymnastics and boot camp classes.
"It combines cardio and strength training," Tabone explained about boot camp classes. "It's a cadence-type military workout using your own body weight as resistance."
Tabone started Pump it Up! two-and-a-half years ago, but has owned Terries Workout Center, in Buffalo for 23 years.
Tabone's career path was set in motion when she was just a child. Her father was a professional soccer player and her mother owned a gym.
"I've done it for a long time," Tabone added. "Since I was 3, I was a dancer, gymnast and soccer player. It just snowballed from there. I've done everything."
While she definitely looks to continue her career as a figure competitor, Tabone doesn't have any immediate plans as the realization that she actually accomplished her goal is still setting in.
"It's still kind of a dream come true."